The full results on turnover (revenues) in the printing industry in Europe for 2020 were published late in 2022 after index data was the only source for print volume developments during the pandemic. While the index data only allowed for volume developments, now real turnover data is available, even if the data is far from perfect.

The turnover for commercial printing in Austria has been relatively flat in recent years, with slight fluctuations from 2015 to 2019. Overall, the turnover declined from €1,864 million in 2015 to €1,811 million in 2019, an average annual decline of 0.6%. In 2020, turnover dropped decisively by 11.5% due to the pandemic, somewhat in the expected range based on the earlier production volume index data.

The number of persons employed showed a somewhat stronger, yet still moderate decline from 2015 to 2019 with an average rate of 1.7%, a sign of constant productivity improvements. The decline accelerated rapidly to 11.3% in 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, almost the same rate as the drop in turnover. This indicates a swift adaption of the labour force to the declining volume.

Source: Eurostat 2022 and

Overall, the printing industry in Austria accounted for 2.3% of the total European printing industry in 2020, falling between Belgium and Czechia. In terms of the number of employees in print, the European share of Austria is markedly lower at 1.4%, indicating a relatively efficient print industry.

Austria—Share of Turnover and Employment in Commercial Print in Europe, 2020

Source: Eurostat 2022 and

Based on Eurostat numbers for turnover and the number of employees in the printing industry the average annual turnover per employee can be calculated. The €179,378 for 2019 is considerably higher than the European average and in the range of the Netherlands, Belgium, or Switzerland. It surpasses even the Nordic countries. The employment number does include part-time employees and owners with a salary. The year 2019 has been chosen as a basis for the comparison as 2020 could have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the differing speeds at which the labor markets reacted.

Source: Eurostat 2022 and

Please keep in mind that the data is based on Eurostat numbers for printing and related services (complemented by some estimates), which consists mainly of commercial and publishing printing, including prepress and finishing companies. That means that packaging, data center, direct mail print, or quick print/copy shops are not included or only on a limited basis. In house print/CRD are not included at all. Europe as used in the series of articles includes the EU countries plus Norway, Switzerland, and the UK. If you have questions about sizing the European printing industry or need clarification, please contact me at [email protected].

This series on the turnover and employment development in commercial print in Europe will be continued. Next time we will have a look at the printing industry in Hungary.